The United States and its history of restricting immigrants
The United States has a long history when it comes to restricting immigrants. The long history has been promoted by the U.S Constitution which went into effect in 1789 giving the Congress absolute authority over the laws of immigration (Marfouk 13). The president has the mandate to execute those laws through regulations. In the recent past, there has been a heated debate on the issue of banning of immigrants especially those that are coming from Muslim predominant countries. Examples of such countries that will feel the effect of the ban include Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Chad (Marfouk 18). The ban restricts admission from those countries unless the individual traveling to the U.S can substantiate that they have a bona fide connection with somebody in the country. Therefore, this paper intends to assess specifically the benefits and setbacks of banning Muslim immigrants as a public issue that affects the country.
The Reasons for Banning Muslim Immigrants
According to Homeland Security, numerous individuals that are foreign-born have been convicted of terrorist-related crimes since the September 11 (Cesari 21). The list of convicted individuals extends to foreign citizens that got into the United States after receiving student, visitor or occupation permits or those that entered the country through refugee resettlement program. Such entry into the country has been propagated by deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to strife, disaster and war and that gives the terrorists an opportunity to use such excuses to enter the country (Cesari 25). Therefore, it is the obligation of the United States to be cautious during the issuance of visas to guarantee that those that are admitted do not aim to hurt the citizens and that they do not have any affiliations with any terrorist groups.
In order to protect the Americans
In order to protect the Americans, it is the duty of the United States to ensure that it does not admit individuals who bear hostile attitudes to the founding principles of the nation. And this can only happen if the ban on immigrants especially from the Muslim nations is imposed not permanently but for some time to ensure that adequate standards are put in place with respect to a screening of foreign nationals that comes from specific countries. After all, it is up to the government to ensure that its citizens are protected from attacks or any threat by all means even if it means banning specific groups of immigrants that have been connected with past insecurity issues in the country.
The Reasons against Banning Muslim Immigrants
The first disadvantage that is affiliated with this move is that it would cause infinite damage to the global position of the country (Göle 43). The United States has long prided itself of diversity, tolerance, and openness but it is going to gradually shut itself to an entire class of people approximately over 1.5 billion on the basis of their faith. Many of Donald Trump's supporters do not really care how people from other nations view the United States. Even so, this policy is clearly going to derail counterterrorism efforts. People must be aware that the war on terrorists is not just about guns and bombs but it is a war of hearts and minds (Göle 47). Americans must understand that Jihadists are not only trying to kill them but they are waging war on other Muslims as well particularly those who reject their views. And the country's biggest partner is not the European countries but the people and the governments of Muslim nations who are fighting for their own lives against Muslim extremists (Helbling et al 393).
Therefore, one should imagine the kind of gift the United States has made to the propaganda arm by the Islamic State with respect to the ban of Muslim immigrants.
The propaganda discourages the Muslims from fighting against their fellow Muslims. They feel that the United States and its allies are fighting against Islam since they reject Muslims in the name of terrorism (Helbling et al 398).
The ban on Muslim is also likely to affect the economy to a bigger extent. For instance, the United States gets smart students from overseas to come and graduate and teach research in the country. Other students stay and teach or come up with innovative companies that employ many Americans. Over 20 percent of the U.S doctors are born from foreign nations (Helbling et al 400). Therefore, it is clear that banning the Muslim immigrants is likely to affect the economy since the potential students from such countries will be locked out and gradually, the country will be missing sharp brains across the globe in the name of banning of Muslim immigrants (Helbling et al 404).
Sincerely, immigration is one of the major issues that the international communities and organizations such as the United Nations and Amnesty International are facing. The world is currently full of unrest and most people are seeking to find refuge in other nations that are at least peaceful. However, not all refugees and immigrants are up to good as some of them have in the past successfully planned and executed attacks on the same countries that hosted them. As a result, the governments of such countries have imposed a ban on some immigrants that they perceive a threat to the peace of their country. The government has the full mandate to ensure that the citizens are by all means safe even if it means banning immigrants from definite areas of the world that are perceived to be a threat. Therefore, a temporary ban of Muslim immigrants is justifiable as long as it is done on security grounds for protecting the citizens which are the fundamental responsibility of the government.
Cesari, Jocelyne. The securitisation of Islam in Europe. Vol. 15. CEPS, 2009.
Göle, Nilüfer. "The public visibility of Islam and European politics of resentment: The minarets–mosques debate." Toward New Democratic Imaginaries-İstanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics. Springer, Cham, 2016.
Helbling, Marc, and Richard Traunmüller. "How state support of religion shapes attitudes toward Muslim immigrants: New evidence from a sub-national comparison." Comparative Political Studies 49.3 (2016): 391-424.
Marfouk, Abdeslam. I’m Neither Racist nor Xenophobic, but: Dissecting European Attitudes towards a Ban on Muslims’ Immigration. No. 174. GLO Discussion Paper, 2018.